SOUTH Warrnambool footballer Archie Stevens plans to "leave no stone unturned" as he strives to make Carlton's 2022 VFL list.
The small defender will start pre-season at Princes Park on December 6 after he was invited to pre-season training through a connection with former Roosters coach-turned-Blues assistant Mat Buck.
"Mathew got in contact just to see if I was keen and I was and the main coach - his name is Dan O'Keefe - he gave me a call and said 'we're really excited if you want to come down'," Stevens told The Standard.
"I'll have to showcase my main strengths, know what I do best and showcase that and do everything I possibly can in terms of training and also diet, sleep and recovery, just making sure I leave no stone unturned."
Stevens, 18, celebrated his year 12 graduation at Emmanuel College last week and will move to Melbourne in the new year to start university.
He hopes to be accepted into a sports psychology course and plans to live with friends from Warrnambool in an apartment.
"I can't wait. Obviously the footy side is going to be a really good test and opportunity for me but also to be able to experience life, not just in my home town of Warrnambool, is going to be exciting and challenging as well," Stevens said.
Stevens, who is working part-time for uncle Matthew Monk at Flying Horse Bar and Brewery selling takeaway coffee, will train with Carlton two nights a week before Christmas.
Pre-season will resume in mid-January.
The Blues have identified Stevens as a small defender.
It is a role he played for NAB League club Greater Western Victoria Rebels this year.
Stevens is eligible for the Rebels as a 19-year-old in 2022 but will pursue a VFL opportunity.
"They (the Rebels) told me pretty early on that they wouldn't have a spot for me and I understood that but I also saw it as a win to be honest," he said.
"It's a great opportunity to try and play at a higher level."
Sport - sidelined for large chunks of the coronavirus pandemic - is a big part of Stevens' summer.
He is playing in the south-west region's two under 23 tournaments - the Seahawks Basketball Championship and Let's Talk Cup for football - on Thursday and Friday nights respectively.
"In basketball we've been on the end of a few tough losses but it's really fun and I am really enjoying it," Stevens said.
"Footy we won after losing the first round which was disappointing but we bounced back."
Stevens' younger brother George was hurt in the Let's Talk Cup and is recovering at home after a knee reconstruction.
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